Kain, Katherine , Hill, Laura M. , Brody, Alison K. .
The effect of climate change, species invasion, and canopy-cover on a globally threatened perennial plant.
Invasive species often outcompete endemic plants in their native communities due increased interspecific competition for limited resources. As a result, native plants are often outcompeted by aggressive invaders of their original habitats. Sunlight is a main factor for rare plants that rely on open-canopy habitats. We are examining several potential impacts of species invasion and canopy-cover on the fitness of a rare endemic plant, Appalachian Jacobís ladder (Polemonium vanbruntiae). We are using a fully factorial treatment design including competition with an invasive species (reed canarygrass, Phalaris arundinacea) and manipulation of shade cover. Appalachian Jacobís ladder is a globally threatened perennial that occurs in open wetland habitats from Quebec, Canada to West Virginia, U.S. Reed canarygrass is an aggressive wetland grass that has broad habitat tolerance, and is considered an official ďpest speciesĒ in the U.S. It thrives in a variety of habitats, and forms dense, persistent stands, often allowing it to outcompete native plants. Reed canarygrass is currently invading half of the extant populations of Appalachian Jacobís ladder in Vermont. Our experiment tests the individual and combined effects of competition and shade over all life-history stages of Appalachian Jacobís ladder (i.e., seed, seedling, vegetative, and reproductive adults). We are currently measuring traits related to growth, survival and reproduction. At the completion of our experiment, we will harvest above-ground biomass for both species. We will use a two-way ANOVA model to determine the effect of competition and shade on each plant species. Previous experiments have shown that reed canarygrass negatively impacts growth in reproductive Appalachian Jacobís ladder plants, but is not as vigorous in closed-canopy habitats. We are currently collecting data and are presenting our findings to-date.
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1 - University of Vermont, Biology, 120A Marsh Life Science, Burlington, VT, 05405, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM